UFC dropped a bombshell last week when it announced two blockbuster fights in 2020. The much-awaited match-up between undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will headline a UFC card in April. Then another announcement saw the return of Conor McGregor. The ‘Notorious’ will face Donald Cerrone at welterweight on January 18 at UFC 246. These two fights will generate a lot of revenue and interest for the MMA giants and fans are eagerly anticipating the return of their beloved stars.
But which fight is exciting the MMA fans more?
There is a case for both mega-fights. On one hand, there is the return of a bonafide superstar like McGregor, who is making a comeback to the Octagon after more than one year. He takes on the winningest fighter in UFC history ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone (36-13).
On the other hand, there is a fight that fans have been waiting for years. After 4 failed attempts, UFC Dana White will be hoping that both Tony (25-3) and Khabib (28-0) can make it to the April 18 fight in Brooklyn without any mishaps. UFC has tried to match these two lightweight behemoths several times before but injuries and failed weight cuts have resulted in its cancellation. Khabib is undefeated in competition while Ferguson is riding a 12-fight winning streak.
McGregor (21-4) has seen his stock fall a little after two losses and several run-ins with the authority. He has mostly received bad press in the last two years with the most recent being a sexual assault case in Ireland.
McGregor is trying to rebuild his image in the fighting world and it is definitely a litmus test for the former ‘Champ Champ’. Cerrone might seem like an easy opponent for McGregor however he is anything but that. Anytime you count Cowboy out of reckoning, he comes back stronger. If he had won against Tony Ferguson, it might well have been Khabib vs Cowboy for the UFC Lightweight Championship. He is also looking to get back into the reckoning for the title and would provide a tough test for McGregor.
Coming to Khabib vs Tony, this is something everyone in the fighting world wanted to see. An elite grappler against a lethal striker, a fighter who has been dominating opponents on the mat against an MMA artist who bulldozes past his enemies. Khabib has looked unbeatable while Tony seems the only guy who has a chance to break the aura of the Dagestani champion. Have a look at the last four opponents of Tony Ferguson and you will get a fair idea.
While the return of the MAC will generate a lot of hype and income for the event, the purist of fighting will look forward to the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson title match (we hope it takes place). It’s difficult to point which one is more excitable but one thing is for sure 2020 will be a record-breaking year for the UFC.